When a loved one suffers from drug or alcohol dependency, it can be tough to watch them suffer. There are several facilities and options at one’s disposal, such as signing into a drug and alcohol treatment center, but these only work if someone is ready to accept treatment. If they are refusing treatment, it can be difficult to support them and try to find ways to help. Breaking free of drug or alcohol dependency is tough, and helping someone who doesn’t want help can be draining.
It’s one of the hardest things to do. However, protecting yourself when dealing with a loved one who refuses treatment is the most important step you can take. It’s hard to watch someone you love suffer, but you can only help them if you are in peak condition.
Protecting yourself comes in many different forms. Physically and mentally, you may need to distance yourself from them. Watching someone you love suffer and slip further into addiction can wreak havoc on your emotional well-being. There’s a difference between being there for someone who needs and accepts your help and trying to be there for someone who refuses it. Sometimes it’s best to step away and let your loved one know that you’ll be there for them when they are ready to accept treatment.
You may also need to protect yourself financially. When someone comes to you saying that they need money for this, that, and the other, it can be hard to turn them down. However, it’s important to understand how the money you give them is being spent. If you feel you aren’t able to turn them or their needs away, offer to pay directly for what they are asking, be it food, bills, etc. This way, you can still help and support them. But you are doing so without the risk of your money being spent directly on their dependency.
Be Supportive, Not Judgmental
Drug and alcohol addictions are considered a medical disease. Drugs and alcohol create a strong attachment in many people’s brains, changing and altering the chemicals within to make living without them seemingly impossible. A loved one with an addiction seeking the next hit can be compared to a loved one starving and in need of a meal. In a dependent brain, there is no difference.
Although it’s easy for outsiders to see the harm drugs and alcohol inflict on someone, those suffering from an addiction see the opposite; to them, the drug or alcohol is what keeps them alive and going. Withdrawing from drugs and alcohol is a tremendously painful experience, and many do not feel safe or strong enough to suffer through it. It’s important to remember that an addict is not purposefully trying to hurt their loved ones; they are simply doing what their brain thinks they need to do to survive.
Trying to guilt an addict into treatment rarely works. Often, an addict isn’t able to comprehend the pain and suffering they are inflicting on others. They know on some level that they have a problem, and they know that their problem hurts those who love them. However, they are not always able to confront this problem, especially not alone.
Using supportive and encouraging language with someone with a drug or alcohol dependency tells them that you care about them and want them to be safe and healthy. This creates a warm and welcoming environment that helps them feel like they have the support they need to break their dependency. Using guilt or shame only causes them to feel worse, leading them further from treatment.
Get Third Party Assistance from a Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center
It often takes a fresh perspective for someone to really recognize and admit to their problem. Someone who has a dependency may have already heard the same spiel from family and friends over time. When a third party makes note of the same problem, an addict is more likely to listen.
Depending on who in your life is afflicted by addiction, you might be able to get in contact with their primary care physician. Although doctors can’t break doctor patient confidentiality, you can still share your concerns with them. The next time your loved one goes in for an appointment, their doctor can assess their physical condition in relation to their dependency. Someone might feel safer talking about their problem with a doctor than their family. Also, they’re more likely to listen to a doctor’s advice on treatment.
Finding someone who went through a similar experience is also a good way to try and help your loved one. Drug and alcohol dependencies can vary from person to person, but most people share similar experiences. This is one of the reasons drug and alcohol treatment centers feature group sessions. Being able to hear the experiences others went through can help someone face their own problems. It can also help them find the strength to solve them.
Educate Yourself and Your Loved One
Knowledge is power. Knowing more about one’s addiction can help you find ways to combat it. It also helps you more fully understand where they are coming from. This allows you to talk about things from their point of view. Helping your loved one understand their dependency from a medical or logical standpoint can also help them see the value of treatment. Most drug and alcohol treatment centers provide free educational materials to both addicts and their families.
Seeking Help from a Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center
If someone you love is refusing treatment, it can be hard on everyone involved in their life. The best way you can help them at this point is to encourage them to educate themselves. Help them seek the treatment they need. Call The Bridges of San Diego at 619-554-0192 to get the information you need about drug and alcohol treatment centers and how they can help break the bonds of dependency.